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Opinions of Wednesday, 24 April 2019

Columnist: Stacy Amewoyi

How I made it from the streets of Bubuashie to America

For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” - Esther 4:14.

My name is Stacy Amewoyi. I’m a philanthropist who lives a purpose-driven life, consumed by a passion to serve my generation through acts of benevolence, charity and love. It is by God’s grace that I have become the person you’re reading about today. My beginning in life was wrought with lack and insecurity. I grew up without either one of my biological parents. My mother died on her sick bed early in life, and I can’t say with any bit of certainty whether my father is still alive or not. I have never met him, and no one knows his whereabouts. The story goes that he died through a serious accident, so this is all I have to go on for now until proven otherwise. I was brought up as an orphan by my grandparents and my great-grandparents.

Most of us have read the story of Queen Esther in the Bible. Having an orphan background myself makes me often compare myself to this “shero” who also started life as an orphan. I suffered through many traumatic experiences while growing up. In the Bible, we read that Esther, as an orphan was raised by her righteous cousin, Mordecai. When the king came looking for young virgins to replace his ex-wife Vashti, he found Esther, whose cousin Mordecai had strategically placed in a beauty pageant that was organized to find the King a new wife.

Her uncommon beauty and virtuous character attracted the favor of the people in the harem and eventually with the king himself who made her his queen. Herein lies another similarity I have with Esther, since in my late teens, I also found myself in a beauty pageant and won the first place. This brought me to national prominence, as I became the face of some major company advertising campaigns, with my picture posted on many bill boards in the major cities. God’s providence took me, a sad and abandoned orphan, and drew me out of obscurity and put me on display. Indeed, He is able to do all things!

In Jeremiah 1:5, God told the prophet, “I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my prophet to the nations.”

I have learnt, from my own life experience, that every single human being comes to the earth with a divine purpose, and that God has a special plan for each individual’s life, irrespective of the circumstances under which they were born.

Likewise, Esther was born into an unfavorable situation and was brought up as an orphan; yet she was also born to rule! God strategically placed her in the palace as a queen for a specific purpose, which was to become a means through which the Jews would be delivered from an absolute genocide. God is able to order your steps right to the place that He’s appointed you to occupy. This also brings to memory the story of Moses in the Bible, whose life was threatened when he was a baby. His mother put him in a basket and set him on the River Nile, and the divine hand of God guided him straight into the arms of Pharaoh’s daughter and straight into the palace!

Many people struggle through life, doing all they can, trying to figure out where God wants them to be, and forcing themselves to attain material things and positions. But in all their striving, they fail to realize that it is God who can make something beautiful out of their lives. Proverbs 16:9 says, “We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps.”

In the story of Esther, a time came when she had to confess to the King that she was a Jew and that her life and the lives of the Jews were at stake. To talk to the king, it was mandatory for her to be summoned by him before she could see him. By taking the initiative to see him by herself, she had to risk her life. In Esther 14:6 she said, “Go and gather together all the Jews of Susa and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will do the same. And then, though it is against the law, I will go in to see the king. If I must die, I must die.”

But prior to that, Mordecai had to remind Esther of why she was in the palace. He firmly said to her,

“If you keep quiet at a time like this, deliverance and relief for the Jews will arise from some other place, but you and your relatives will die. Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this?" Let us note that Mordecai asked a question, “Who knows?” This suggests that neither one of them was really sure of why she was in the palace. They knew that she was the queen, and that she was in a position to speak to the king; they knew that God wanted to save His people, but they didn’t know what to do in the midst of this colossal crisis.

Because they were unsure as to what to do, they prayed and fasted and took a risk.
There will be times in your life when you’ve gathered all the pieces of information you can; you’ve prayed as well as you know how to; you’ve sought Godly counsel; yet you’re still unsure of what steps to take. After you’ve done all you can, the next step to take comes from your gut, and your instinct; and usually it’s a risky step that you must take into the realm of the unknown. And you must be confident that God has got your back and will bring you to a favorable ending.

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. – Jeremiah 29:11

In destiny, each one of us will have to take a risk one day; and this will determine whether we have an understanding of what we were brought to the earth to do or not; or whether we understand why we have been given the talents we have, or been placed in positions that we occupy. Whether we decide to take a risk or not, will determine what kind of future we will have. Those who are always comfortable in their comfort zones most often end up living mediocre lives. Bold people who have nothing to lose and dare to take risks end up being big winners in the game of destiny.

Personally, I came to a point in my life when I realized I had no one to depend on but God. Yet I understood that trusting God didn’t mean just sitting there, inactive, and expecting manna to fall from the sky. I took some heavy risks to make ends meet. I went to the streets to sell plastic bags; I took a risk to become a maid servant and live in the homes of strangers I knew nothing about; I took risks and travelled to countries I had never been to; I took risks setting up businesses and a non-profit organization which is blessing to many today. I had a drive in me.

Destiny was driving me. Purpose was driving me. My middle name became “Risk.” Granted, I failed quite a number of times in some of the steps I took, but it built in me endurance, fortitude, experience, and perseverance, as I tried and tried again until I succeeded. It has been an adventurous life walking with God and trusting Him to make something beautiful out of my life; and I’m so grateful for how far He’s brought me. Ebenezer!

Thus far has the Lord brought me! My story is still being written, and the skies can’t contain me! With my God on my side, I know I will scale greater heights. Indeed, you and I are alive, in this generation, for such a time as this. Let’s make the best of what God has given us, and make a difference in our world.

These few paragraphs are just an abbreviated version of my incredible life story which I published in a memoir entitled “The King’s Choice.” I encourage you to get a copy so that you can be inspired by it.

My book is available on Barnes & Nobles and Amazon.